By Nicola Priest THE lesson I learned on Friday was: always listen to your sat nav – never your colleagues!

A well-meaning colleague directed me to our new Manchester office by telling me to go the same way as if I was going to the old office, then follow the signs for Old Trafford cricket ground.

Well I did get there eventually but it took forever – I think my hair must have grown by at least half an inch by the time I drove into the office car park.

On the way back I did listen to her (yes the sat nav is definitely a her) and it was easier and quicker.

Sat navs have to be one of the best inventions ever – it’s opened up a whole new world to me.

You see I have a terrible sense of direction.

I can get lost even with the sat nav.

And it’s not just roads, I get lost in offices, shops and even schools.

But with my trusty sat nav by my side I’m an independent woman, even if she must get exasperated with me at times.

If she had a mind I’m sure she would tell me that I’m an idiot and I should listen to her properly instead of ignoring her instructions so she has to keep recalculating.

And she is very amusing.

Her pronunciation of various streets is hilarious.

The sat nav is a superior gadget for me because I can’t read maps – can any woman?

Although I consider myself a feminist I’m happy to admit that I don’t think women’s brains are programmed that way.

We can do most things, just not map reading.

In the old pre-sat nav days, if we went any distance my husband would always drive.

Men like to drive, they think they’re better at it than we are.

He would then give me the map to follow.

But when I couldn’t fathom it out, I’d panic, he would get cross and it would end in an argument.

Now if we get lost – and we still do – we just blame the sat nav, so much easier!

n SHOCKING figures last week showed the number of times some persistent patients visited the hospital’s A&E department.

Although drug and alcohol problems and, in some cases mental health issues, accounted for the highest number of patients, there were still far too many ‘frequent visitors’.

It is easy to point the finger and say that many of those people clearly didn’t need to be seen in hospital.

But don’t our GP practices have to take some of the blame?

It’s so difficult to get an appointment at some surgeries that I’m sure many people then resort to walk-in centres or A&E as a last resort.

In the news last week politicians were banging on about going to see a pharmacist for minor ailments instead of bothering your GP, which is good advice.

But there are times when you really need to see a doctor.

Until the NHS sort out our GP practices then our hospitals will continue to carry the burden.